‘…you are breaking up,‘ my LSH (long suffering husband) said from the other end of my mobile. ‘ are you deep in the heart of Top Shop?‘ Indeed I was. For someone who doesn’t like fast fashion and is not into every trend that comes and goes – my visits to Top Shop are alarmingly frequent.
Top shop boutique
There are many reasons to avoid shopping from Top Shop. For one, the quality is generally on the poor side, prices on the high and Arcadia group has refused to join the Ethical Trading Initiative, (ensure fair wages and decent working conditions http://www.ethicaltrade.org) On the other hand, they don’t use fur, (one of the most barbarous practices on the planet) and they are usually bang on trend on most things. They seem to manage to employ the best stylists, Plus all the little details that make or break an outfit are there.
In their flagship Oxford Street store, which is enormous, you can find The Boutique on the lower floor. An edited collection, within the larger Top Shop brand. Small and beautifully formed.
The clothes are well priced and well cut, lots of pure silk, natural fabrics, wonderful denim, excellent finish. Everything up to the minute, design wise. The quality is considerably higher than the average top shop item, many of the boutique clothes (not all, check the label) are in fact, made in Britain. (So we can happily shop knowing we are supporting our turf. No sweat shops or child labour here) They paid attention to fit, sizes start from UK4 (which is teensy tiny, I am an 8 ) and go up to UK16.
In store service
Surprisingly good, for a relatively inexpensive brand. I guess a lot of the people who work there are genuine fashion lovers. Helpful & attractive sales associates, went out of their way to find my size. As always, if you expect service, avoid going there Saturday afternoons.
Long long q’s but efficiently managed. Good 3-way mirrors, well lit, and plenty of space.
Do not expect heavily discounted stuff, the good items are limited editions and never go on sale at all.
Referring to my
AW14 fashion budget, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to replenish my satin silk shirt collection. During the summer I absolutely live in these shirts, which are successfully machine washed despite what the label says. The silk shirts have concealed buttons and are beautifully cut in the latest silhouette. Easy colour palettes, for year round wardrobes. Lovely!
Top Shop dangers
It is very easy to walk out of top shop with clothes that are ridiculously trendy, and have enough synthetic in them to cause an electrocution. If you are no longer a teenager, avoid the humiliation of looking like one, and go straight for the boutique section instead.